Patriotism in Germany

You never see German athletes having their hand on their heart, while the national anthem is playing, like so many other athletes from other countries do. Why is that the case? The problem is, that Germany was not able to return to a healthy patriotism, after what happened during the third Reich. Even my generation, who is not in charge for what happened, who is living/born in a time, where the last people, who actually were responsible for the cruelty, are dying or are already dead, wasn’t able to find its way back to a good patriotic attitude because of what we get taught from our family, our teachers and idols. But more and more young people ask themselves “Why can’t I be proud of my country?”. I am one of them. Though often times when you ask this question loud, you get called a (Neo-)Nazi or you get associated with them in an other way, even though you are probably on the left side of the political spectrum.

Because of this social evil, experts like Charlotte Knobloch, Holocaust survivor, elected President of Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland in June, 2006, Vice President of the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress, and many others were happy to see, when Germany became a sea of waving flags during the world cup 2006 in Germany. Finally the German public identified themselves with their flag and their national anthem. So our soccer team helped us and we helped them. They gave us this national identity, we supported them with this identity and they played amazingly. Everyone, I know, is happy when he/she looks back because it was a great summer. One of the pictures that stayed is the German flag everywhere and the masses of people waving them and this time these pictures were not in a movie and related to Hitler, so we finally got a good experience with our flag and anthem, with our national identity. That all was made possible by the German national soccer team, which has his roots all over the world. So there was no possibility to say that it was a nationalistic change. The fact that our national team is multi cultural and that the Germans became more confident with their nationality, made it possible that even migrants who never said that they were German, migrants who always pointed out there foreign roots, wore the German flag with pride and cheered for the German national team, so they were possibly for the first time since they came to this country or were born in this country really a part of the German society.

Now, 4 and a half year and one world cup later, I am confident that Germany is one the right way to a healthy patriotism, even though we are not there yet. But all this would not be happening without the influence by the sport on the society.

Sport gets changed by the society but the society gets changed by sport, too.

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About carlthegerman
I am German.

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